St Albans tailor’s anniversary celebration is a good fit for a Prince

Geoffrey Golding and Prince Andrew, Duke of York

Geoffrey Golding and Prince Andrew, Duke of York - Credit: Archant

YEARS of loyal service to the Royal Household were recognised for St Albans bespoke tailor Geoffrey Golding when Prince Andrew consented to attend his company’s 50th anniversary celebration.

His Royal Highness the Duke of York was guest of honour at a private gathering at Sopwell House Hotel and that, for Mr Golding, holder of the Queen’s Warrant for Tailoring Services, was a dream come true.

He explained: “I sent an invitation but hardly dared hope it would be accepted – it was such a generous gesture by His Royal Highness.”

The Goldings Tailors’ anniversary celebration was attended by 250 guests including the Lord Lieutenant Lady Verulam, the High Sheriff Arabella Stuart-Smith, Chief Constable Andy Bliss, and new St Albans Mayor Cllr Annie Brewster.

Mr Golding, company founder and managing director, said: “Frankly, it was hard to take in. When I opened my shop in St Albans as a naive 19 year old in 1963 I was full of ridiculous ambition, but I could never ever have predicted a day such as this.

“Everyone present was very excited to see the Duke of York and we were delighted that HRH talked to as many guests as he could.”

The golden anniversary celebration doubled as a fundraiser for Dyslexia Action. Chief executive Kevin Geeson spoke on the charity’s work for those whose lives can be hampered by difficulties in reading and writing.

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Dyslexic himself, Geoffrey Golding encountered many problems in his early years after leaving school at 15 with just a certificate in woodwork to his name.

“When I opened my shop my brother had to spell out the numbers one to 20 in the back of my first cheque book, so that I could copy them when I needed them,” he recalled.

He believes overcoming such challenges has been the spur to many dyslexics who have risen to the top in their chosen careers.

Goldings Tailors has customers throughout the Home Counties and the City of London and makes officers’ uniforms for the majority of regiments and corps in the British Armed Forces.

After 50 years, Geoffrey Golding has no plans to retire: “ I warned guests that I looked forward to seeing them again at the diamond anniversary!” he said